Fix Samsung Galaxy Note 5 that can’t send/receive text messages & MMS, more messaging issues [w/ Troubleshooting Guide]

This one’s for Samsung Galaxy Note 5 (#Samsung #GalaxyNote5) owners who are having problems sending and/or receiving text messages and MMS. It also goes to owners who have difficulty using this basic feature.


Text messaging is a very basic feature and a smartphone as powerful as the Note 5 shouldn’t have issue sending 1Kb worth of data over a cellular network. However, things like this happens all the time and it’s not really about the phone but most of the time about the network, the account of the subscriber or misconfiguration.

If you’re having problems with your phone, try these troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Check the signal bars immediately – without signal, the phone cannot send or receive messages. If the signal disappeared without apparent reason, it might be a network problem. Call your provider and inquire about it.

Step 2: Reboot your device – if the phone’s signal bars show there’s coverage, then try rebooting your phone just to refresh its memory as well as its connection to the network. For minor coverage issues, this simple procedure is very effective.

Step 3: Try sending a message to your own number – this is the most effective way to know whether or not your phone can send and receive messages. If messages aren’t sent, it might be the Message Center Number that has issues. Call your provider and ask for the correct one and make sure it’s setup on your phone. If messages are send but not received, make sure there’s enough storage space left.

Step 4: For MMS, make sure mobile data is turned on – mobile data is everything when it comes to sending and receive picture messages, texts with pictures and group texts.

Step 5: If mobile data is turned on but MMS messages don’t come through, check the APN settings. Every letter or number or character should conform with the settings of your provider. You may google the correct APN for your phone or call your provider and ask for it.

Furthermore, if you have issues sending SMS and MMS without apparent reason, make sure your account is still in good standing and that it’s not barred from using those services. Your service provider will always be your go-to guy when it comes to these issues.

If you have other concerns, fill up this questionnaire and hit submit to reach out to us. We are always willing to help you fix your issues with your phone. However, we need your cooperation. Make sure you provide us will sufficient information about the problem so that it would be easier for us to help you. You may also visit our troubleshooting page and try to find issues related to yours and use the existing solutions.

Now, here’s the list of the messaging issues I addressed in this post…

  1. Galaxy Note 5 can’t send or receive MMS
  2. Note 5 stopped sending text messages due to coverage issues
  3. Some letters on the keypad doesn’t work
  4. How to get messages preview pop up on lock screen?
  5. Wi-Fi has to be turned off to receive texts with pictures

Galaxy Note 5 can’t send or receive MMS

Problem: I cannot send or receive MMS. This is a new issue to my phone. It is a major problem.  I know that you start by saying that you have addressed this before many times. Did it ever occur to you that this really means that you have failed to address it successfully? I am using the stock app. I regularly use a better app and I want to continue to do so. Just saying “don’t use advanced messaging”  is lame. Simply put it back the way that it was. Please! I do not consider this basic feature optional. Put your programmers in a room and don’t let them out until they have fixed this! — Hal

Answer: Well, Hal, even if we successfully addressed an issue, it’s inevitable that we receive the same complaints from our readers after a few hours since we posted our solution. That’s why, even if we already addressed an issue a hundred times before, we are still obliged to answer questions sent by our readers.

Now, let’s try to solve your problem by asking your series of questions:

  1. Is mobile data enabled in your phone?
  2. If it is, have you checked the APN settings and verify it so that it conforms with the settings with your provider?
  3. If so, what’s the error message you get when you try to send an MMS and failed?
  4. Assuming every setting in your phone is correct, have you tried calling your provider and make sure it’s not an issue with the network?
  5. If it was not a network issue, have you verified your account status to see if there are no bars that prevent you from sending/receiving MMS?
  6. If this issue started just recently, didn’t it occur to you that you may have changed something in your phone that led to it?

As far as MMS is concerned, we end-users can only check if all the settings are correct and if the service still doesn’t work, it’s the provider that has to figure out what the problem is since it has total control over its mobile data network as well as the customer’s account.

We, too, don’t consider this basic feature optional. However, there’s nothing we can do about it since we are not, in any way, affiliated with Samsung. So, if you have better suggestions, call them!

Note 5 stopped sending text messages due to coverage issues

Problem: I am on vacation in San Diego (not in my home carrier area). Suddenly my Note 5 stopped sending text messages.  I followed your trouble shooting all the way through and including a complete factory reset.  It still isn’t sending texts, and now I can’t set up my email account. That error message says try again with network providers default APN. Can you help or do I need to locate an ATT store here in San Diego?

Answer: If your phone was detecting a signal even outside your carrier’s coverage area, you should still have services. And when it comes to text messages, a factory reset isn’t always effective to resolve messaging issues because more often, the problem is with the network.

The best thing you can do for now is call your service provider and ask if you can get a service in the area you’re currently in. If so, ask the rep to setup the APN for you.

Some letters on the keypad doesn’t work

Problem: I have a Note 5 and my phone doesn’t so much lag but I can never get the letter L to work. Never dropped it in water and no damage to phone. I had this problem with the last one. I literally just got this phone and it is already doing it again. My last phone started as the letter A then the L then other spots on the keyboard. Anyone else experience this? If so any fixes?

Troubleshooting: It could have been more helpful to us if you told us the keyboard you’re using if any. I encountered this issue with Swiftkey before; it cause the stock messaging app to lag or freeze for a few seconds resulting to some keys not responding. Clearing the cache and data of the messaging app you use may fix the problem. And if you’re using a third-party keyboard, try disabling it first and use the stock keyboard to see if the problem remains. If so, you need to try to wipe the cache partition and proceed with master reset if it failed.

Delete Note 5 System Cache

  1. Turn off your Galaxy Note 5.
  2. Press and hold the following three buttons at the same time: Volume Up key, Home key, and Power key.
  3. When the phone vibrates, release the Power key but continue to press and hold the Volume Up key and the Home key.
  4. When the Android System Recovery screen appears, release the Volume Up and Home keys.
  5. Press the Volume Down key to highlight ‘wipe cache partition.’
  6. Press the Power key to select.
  7. When the wipe cache partition is complete, ‘Reboot system now’ is highlighted.
  8. Press the Power key to restart the device.

How to get messages preview pop up on lock screen?

Question: How do I get my text message alerts to pop up on my screen again?  I dint want to see the content I just want a window to pop up showing I have a text message when a text comes in like it used to when I first got the phone.

Answer: This feature is still in your phone but it may have been disabled that’s why the message preview doesn’t show on the lock screen anymore. To enable it back, go to Apps > Settings > Lock screen and security > Notifications. In that screen, you can choose which apps to show on lock screen.

Wi-Fi has to be turned off to receive texts with pictures

Problem: I am having a hard time when people send me texts with pictures I have to shut off my Wi-Fi to get them. It just started doing it and I don’t know why. Thank you. I don’t want to use up my data ’cause I shut my Wi-Fi off.

Answer: On or off, Wi-Fi has nothing to do with MMS or picture messages. What matters is the mobile data. Just make sure it’s turned on so you can receive MMS. If you don’t want to use up your data then, tell your friends not to send you picture messages because the fact that you’re downloading those pictures means you’re already using up your data.

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